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Judicial decision in the Kanavape case, scheduled for tomorrow, may define the future of CBD in Europe

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O Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) announced the reading of the final decision on the Kanavape case due tomorrow, November 19, 2020. The case, which centers on a dispute over the marketing of Kanavape's CBD vaporizer in France, is one of the most anticipated legal decisions as it could represent the future of the CBD industry in Europe.

Kanavape is being sued in France for selling vaping products made with natural CBD from hemp. The French legal paradigm currently prohibits the marketing of products derived from the entire cannabis plant (even if it is hemp, as is the case), and therefore products containing CBD, while the use of synthetic CBD (chemically identical) is generally allowed.

However, in Europe it is allowed to grow hemp for industrial purposes as long as THC levels do not exceed 0,2%. The French company defends itself with the free movement of goods within the European Union. Sébastien Béguerie, consultant, and Antonin Cohen-Adad, now a business leader in Spain, launched in December 2014 “Kanavape”, the first “100% legal” cannabis electronic cigarette. In the vaporizer they used an oil containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic molecule of Cannabis sativa L. (hemp), with less than 0,2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychotropic substance of the plant.

The court decision, scheduled for tomorrow, November 19, has the potential to open up a new CBD market in France, as well as trigger a wave of legislative revisions and reforms in other EU member states. Or not. But this decision could also have implications for the European Commission's final position on whether CBD derived from hemp flowers should be regulated as a narcotic rather than a dietary supplement or novel food.

The decision is set to come two weeks before a vote in December by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs on how cannabis and related substances are programmed into two international narcotics treaties.

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